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The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong 5.0

Kowloon, Hong Kong, China

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • One of the tallest luxury hotels in the entire world, with stunning city views
  • Buzzing dining and drinking scene includes Ozone, the world's highest bar
  • Popular tea service at Cafe 103 and Michelin-starred Italian dining at Tosca
  • Stunning rooms and suites fuse classic and modern Asian decor
  • All rooms have unbelievable cityscape views
  • Standard in-room features include Nespresso machines, entertainment systems, and marble bathrooms
  • Luxe spa and modern fitness center with city views
  • Sleek indoor pool includes a separate whirlpools 
  • Kowloon Station is attached to the hotel for MTR and Airport Express links
  • Popular Club Lounge includes six food and drink services per day
  • Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel

Cons

  • Not much to do within walking distance
  • Suggested dress codes are in place in dining and drinking outlets

Bottom Line

Only a few hotels in Hong Kong deliver the same level of luxury as the Ritz-Carlton. Large rooms feature decadent touches, such as plush beds with down pillows and comforterrs, entertainment systems, Nespresso coffeemakers, and marble bathrooms. The hotel sits atop Hong Kong’s ICC, one of the city's tallest buildings, and views are breathtaking when the sky is clear. Highlights include a stylish indoor pool, gym, and top-notch spa. However, dining and drinking are the top draw here, and include Ozone (the world's highest bar) and Michelin-starred Tosca. A luxury mall and the Kowloon MTR station are both attached to the hotel, though most sights are too far to reach on foot. For luxury that's a bit more classic, opt for the original Mandarin-Oriental on Hong Kong Island instead. 

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Scene

One of this brand's most opulent properties, and one of its most superlative packed too

It's hard to top the Ritz-Carlton's Hong Kong property -- literally and figuratively. This is one of the world's highest hotels, set on floors 102 to 118 of Hong Kong's ICC, and is easily the tallest hotel in the Ritz-Carlton portfolio. Checking in alone requires an elevator ride past dozens upon dozens of floors. Once you've arrived in the lobby, it's all sleek surfaces, handsome somber tones, and dazzling shimmer, striking the perfect balance of contemporary and classic style. There's that, and then there are the views, which are some of the best you'll find in all of Asia. 

Like Hong Kong's other great luxury hotel -- the Mandarin-Oriental, Hong Kong -- this is no sedate legacy property. Instead, the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is one of the city's see-and-be-seen destinations, with a dining and drinking scene that makes the hotel a must-visit for tourists and locals across the city. This includes an opium-den inspired Lounge & Bar, Michelin-starred Tosca, and the highest bar in the world, Ozone. Keep in mind that dress codes do apply, though are loosely enforced. While the hotel's common areas buzz with a mix of locals, business travelers, tourists, and hotel guests, the room floors are kept private and tranquil. Expect to see well-heeled travelers from around the world here, and keep in mind that none of this luxury comes cheaply. 

Location

A bit removed from any local scene, though Kowloon Station and a luxury mall are attached

Location isn't this hotel's strong suit, unless you count its privileged sky-high setting. However, the Ritz-Carlton is directly attached to Kowloon Station, which has an MTR line and serves as a departure point for the Airport Express train. This property shares the building with businesses that call the ICC home, and the Elements luxury shopping mall, with international boutiques and numerous food courts, is downstairs as well. Even so, West Kowloon is a neighborhood that's still being developed, and the Ritz-Carlton isn't within walking distance of more exciting neighborhoods like Tsim Sha Tsui. It will take about 15 to 20 minutes to reach Tsim Sha Tsui by MTR, or five minutes by taxi. The buzzy Jordan area is about the same distance away and has some classic Hong Kong gems to discover, like the Australia Dairy Company and Temple Street Night Market. It's only one stop across Victoria Harbour by MTR to Hong Kong Station on Hong Kong Island, and from there the Central-Mid-Levels Escalators are an easy five-minute walk for access to Soho. With Airport Express trains literally downstairs, you can be at the airport in 30 minutes.  

Rooms

Sleek and sexy, with just the right dash of classic appeal, and stunning city views

For starters, not everyone is comfortable sleeping 100-plus floors high in the sky -- plenty of previous guests have expressed a bit of apprehension. However, once you witness exactly what that means, it's hard to ever wonder why you were afraid in the first place. The views here are almost unrivaled in all of Asia, as the hotel towers above everything around it, and vantages sweep across Kowloon, Victoria Harbour, and the mountains of Hong Kong Island. 

Scenery aside, the rooms embrace a classic and contemporary look that feels just the right amount of sleek and sexy, making them an appealing option for a wide array of travelers. Soft tones of tan, beige, gray, green, and purple are offset with more dramatic sleek black surfaces, dark marble, and handsome woodwork. Floor plans are generous for a city where space is at a premium, and all units have at least 540 square feet of space (50 square meters). Suites feature proper living rooms and feel extra luxurious, and many include telescopes for maximizing those amazing city views. 

Standard features include Nespresso machines, extensive minibars, Blu-ray and audio entertainment systems, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, and free Wi-Fi. Marble bathrooms come in every unit, as do rainfall showers, separate bathtubs, and premium bath products. Higher-category rooms and suites come with more perks, like high-end tech, city-view soaking tubs, and -- in some -- access to the Club Lounge, which is one of the city's most popular.

Features

Extensive destination dining and drinking scene, beautiful spa, and indoor pool and wellness facilities

Like we said: The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is all about superlatives, and its list of features is as extensive as any of its equally famous luxury competitors. It's hard to know where to start, but the dining and drinking scene here is a magnet that draws guests from far and wide. Perhaps its most famous outlet is Ozone, billed as the highest bar in the world. There's often a line to get into the bar, so head early (just before happy hour, if possible), and you'd do well to forego your shorts and sneakers. Tosca is a Michelin-starred Italian restaurant where you'll need reservations well in advance. Elsewhere, The Lounge & Bar has a refined opium den vibe and insane views across Victoria Harbour. Cafe 103 is home to what is arguably the city's most famous afternoon tea, though you'll need reservations here as well. A caviar bar and Cantonese cuisine are also on offer.

The gorgeous spa provides indulgence of another kind, with treatments ranging from high-tech to traditional. The hotel's indoor pool is a stunner, with those same cityscape views found elsewhere in the property, plus indoor and outdoor hot tubs. The gym also capitalizes on those same city views. 

Extensive meeting space is available, and the hotel also specializes in weddings. Again, the Ritz-Carlton has been wise and designed all of these spaces to maximize the hotel's height and views. Club Lounge access is available to higher-category bookings and the services offered are one of the most liked aspects of this hotel. These include six different food and beverage presentations throughout the day, stellar views, as well as a dedicated Club concierge.

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Address

International Commerce Center, No.1 Austin Road West, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China

Phone

8 (522) 263-2263

Room Types

  • Carlton Suite
  • Deluxe Island Suite
  • Deluxe Room
  • Grand Deluxe Room
  • Harbour Island Room
  • Premier Executive Suite
  • The Ritz-Carlton Suite

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